CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — Humanitarian efforts are underway to help those affected by Saturday’s massive 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Haiti.
The death toll now stands at 1,419 and at least 6,000 people were hurt.
While efforts are mobilizing, humanitarian officials worry about how quickly aid can be deployed.
Nonprofit groups and philanthropy experts say the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise, as well as accusations that money raised following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti never reached those in need, will make fundraising for the nation even tougher.
Art delaCruz, CEO of Team Rubicon, a nonprofit that deploys emergency response teams to work with first responders in disaster areas, said the first briefing his teams in Haiti and the Dominican Republic had with support teams in the United States was about security.
“The assassination of the president, the almost gang-like existence there, it really increases the risk to organizations like ours that deploy into this situation,” delaCruz said. However, Team Rubicon, founded in 2010 by Marines Jake Wood and William McNulty in response to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, has experience on the ground in the country and similar situations around the world.
Skyler Badenoch, CEO of the Florida nonprofit Hope for Haiti, says the response has also been complicated because the disaster has directly affected its staff. The organization is now gearing up to distribute $60 million worth of first aid supplies and medical equipment to help those affected, he said.
Aid to Haiti has been probed for years and scrutiny intensified in 2015 when an investigation from ProPublica and NPR questioned where $500 million raised by the American Red Cross was spent.
In an emailed statement, the American Red Cross said that it is not seeking donations for Haiti relief at this time but will work with its partners – including the Haitian Red Cross and the Red Crescent – to respond to the earthquake. “We will provide support to help meet the needs of families impacted by the quake, as we have done in the past,” the statement said.
It also disputed the ProPublica/NPR findings. “Contrary to accusations, the American Red Cross has made a significant impact in Haiti, including investment in more than 50 hospitals and clinics, safer housing for more than 22,000 families, funding for the country’s first wastewater treatment plant, support for Haiti’s first-ever cholera vaccination campaign and so much more,” it said in a statement. “Americans donated generously in the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti earthquake to save lives — which is exactly what their donations did. In fact, we spent nearly one-third of donations on helping to keep people alive in the first six months alone.”
Organizations accepting donations:
FOKAL, a grassroots charity based in Southern Haiti run by Ayiti Demen, channels funds to local farmers, women’s organizations, and small local businesses. It’s setting up a relief fund similar to its efforts after 2016’s Hurricane Matthew, hoping to keep business owners out of poverty, support rebuilding, and make sure Haitian voices are prioritized in recovery. You can donate here.
Family Action Network Movement
FANM is accepting medical supplies, over-the-counter medications, water cases, non-perishable food and PPE for those in need in Haiti. The organization is asking supplies be dropped off to the office at 100 NE 84th Street in Miami.
Fonkoze, empowers the poor across Haiti with the tools, resources and support needed to break the cycle of poverty. The organization is asking for donations, which can be made here.
Hope For Haiti
The Florida-based organization, whose team consists of Haitian doctors, nurses and program managers, has a stockpile of emergency kits ready to distribute to individuals and families in Haiti. Donations can be made via Hope for Haiti’s website or social media platforms. The nonprofit is also accepting cryptocurrency donations.
The group is also taking financial donations. Click here to make a donation.
Partners In Health
Partners In Health is providing medical assistance to earthquake victims in Haiti. Just hours after the earthquake they began assessments and have 24 clinics open and are receiving patients. The organization is asking for donations to continue to provide emergency medical aid. You can donate here.
Team Rubicon mobilizes veterans to serve communities and to help people prepare, respond, and recover from disasters and humanitarian crises. They sent a team to Port-au-Prince to conduct need assessment and begin recovery operations. Donations can be made via their website.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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